On 31 January 2011, exactly 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 28 years. I’ve had my ups and downs during these 3 years, but I am now stronger and better able to cope with the disease. So far, I’ve had 3 relapses in these 3 years, which have affected the strength and mobility in my legs and hands. Every relapse was different from the first, and every time it used to feel as if it was the worst relapse I’ve ever had. I’ve also come to know the major factors which trigger these relapses, most important of all being heat exposure. The second important factor for me is physical exertion and the third is stress.
What I’ve understood about MS during these three years is that it is not a disease which WILL make you end up in a wheelchair. I do take help from walking aids like a cane or walker every once in a while when the need be. If you understand the disease from the start and make an effort to change your lifestyle, you will be better able to cope with it. Most important of all, multiple sclerosis is not life threatening and a vast majority of people live a normal life-span with it. The good thing is you can still continue to go about your life, achieve your goals in life and be strong. At times you will need help from your friends and family to give you courage and make you strong, but you will make it through. My family had always been with me, helping me through some of the worst days of my life and I thank Allah for giving me such a loving and caring family.
INSPIRATION – Did you know?
Pakistani model and actress Iman Ali, daughter of famous TV actress Abid Ali, is suffering from multiple sclerosis? In 2009, she told in an interview that she is suffering from MS. She also travelled to India for treatment. Since then, she has been fighting with multiple sclerosis that has toughened her up. She is always found speaking openly about her disease, knowing the fact that this can jeopardize her career.
How am I doing?
Multiple Sclerosis is a serious neurological disorder which affects the central nervous system of the body. Common MS symptoms include fatigue, numbness and tingling, balance and coordination problems, muscular spasticity and stiffness, vision problems, bladder dysfunction and more. I’ve experienced all these symptoms, of course not all at the same time, but I’ve definitely had them at one point or the other.
I’ve followed a number of tips to get rid of my MS symptoms, like making changes in my diet, following an exercise plan, avoiding heat exposure and so on. Your condition may worsen when you are exposed to factors which affect your MS, but on a normal day, you can rate yourself on the Kurtzke EDSS Scale which is used in MS studies to determine the patient’s disability rating. During periods of remission, I would score 0.0 on the EDSS Scale and would pass any neurological exam without a problem, but during times of exacerbation, I may rate myself as high as 4.0. I consider myself to be the “good one” among MS patients. I hope and pray to God to give me the strength and courage to make it through the years ahead.